Oscars 2014 Contenders: 25 films to watch for
The engravings on Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Best Picture Oscars for "Argo" are still fresh and already the gears are spinning across the net on what to expect in the film awards season next year. Of course we were going to pile on.
I remember a time when year-in-advance Oscar speculation boiled down to just a handful of eager beaver outlets (this one included). Now the LA Times, IndieWire, you name it, everyone's putting that early bird finger to the wind. And no shock, everyone's turning out similar lists.
Indeed, the old standbys are pretty much, well, stood by when it comes to this kind of thing. Oscar bait, pedigree, a pinch of buzz and voila, you have a set of films to look out for. But beware the pretenders. Remember "Amelia?" How about "The Shipping News?" And here's one for you: "Pay It Forward." Yes, there are as many seemingly awards-ish titles waiting to fall off that pedestal as there are those waiting to live up to the expectation. And for those recipes that turn out a tasty Oscar soufflé, dominance isn't always a given. Just look at something like "Les Misérables" or "Lincoln" this year.
From our perch here, it's fair to say there is a healthy slate of possibilities on the horizon. Studios like Paramount, Warner Bros. and The Weinstein Company are already filling out their stables, while there are, as ever, plenty of films waiting to find a home that could figure into the equation as well. And as Clooney finds a place for his latest Academy Award, he might want to start staking out a potential spot for another one next year. Just in case.
But let's save the serious predictions for a future date, shall we? For now, here are 25 films we think you might want to keep an eye on as we make our slow crawl to the 2013-2014 film awards season.
Click through the gallery below for more (and feel free to add any other films you think ought to be considered in the comments section below).
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
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